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World No6 Rory McIlroy says he is glad to see the back of the 2013 season – despite finishing the year with a tied-fifth place at the DP World Tour Championship.

This time last year, the Northern Irishman was the toast of golf, finishing the year as world No1 and winner of this tournament with a five-birdie blast in his last five holes.

Returning to the course he conquered so emphatically last year, McIlroy had to watch as Henrik Stenson took the plaudits. Now, he is happy just to see the season finish.

“As a whole the year has been disappointing,” said the 24-yearold. “I’m happy that the 2013 season is officially over.

“It’s not what I wanted but at least I’ve ended it on a positive note, and played better towards the end. That at least gives me some momentum going into next year.

“I thought coming here, I had a good chance and that I was in good shape but it didn’t happen, and Henrik seems to be playing too good for everyone right now.”

Going into the final day, McIlroy was far from out of the running, sitting seven shots behind Stenson. But two bogeys on the first two holes derailed his plans even though he was able to recover to finish with a score of 67.

“I thought I had a chance coming into the round but then I bogeyed the first two holes and that put an end to that," McIlroy reflected.

“But I thought if I came out and shot something very, very low then I thought I’d have a chance, but Henrik was too good.”

McIlory, whose performance in Dubai earned him only a fourth top-10 finish on the European Tour this season, added: “I learned a lot of things this year.

“It has been a learning year, very transitional, a ton of stuff going on, new equipment, a few things off the course that haven’t helped either.

“For the most part I’m just happy to get my game back to where I want it to be and that’s all I care about.

“I’m happy, it’s another good week, another top-10 and another step in the right direction. I still have a couple of tournaments to get that win and I feel it’s edging close.”

McIlroy now heads to Sydney for the Emirates Australian Open at the end of this month, but the Northern Irishman will soon be back in the UAE at the start of next season.

McIlroy will be part of a stellar field - including US Open champion Justin Rose and five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson - at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January. 

Following the conclusion of the tournament, McIlroy will make the short trip down the road to compete alongside Tiger Woods at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic - scheduled for January 30 to February 2.


- VIDEO: Stenson wins Race to Dubai to end year European No1

- Race to Dubai runner-up Poulter hails Stenson's brilliance


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